Within the next three weeks, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal will determine the winner of the election, among President Bola Tinubu, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi. They represented the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) respectively in last February 25 Presidential election.
Another landmark event in the month of September may be the Nigeria Labour Congress’ (NLC) strike to totally shut down the country between September 14 and 22.
But the total strike is dependent on the federal government’s reaction to a two-day warning strike by the Labour union, beginning next Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
Whatever else the month before Nigeria’s 63rd “birthday anniversary” has in store for her and her 210 million citizens, remain within the power of the LORD GOD Almighty.
Everyday.ng enquiries show that the judgment on the presidential election will be delivered on or before the third week of the month, the end of 180 days stipulated constitutionally for the delivery of the judgment.
A source within the administrative wing of the PEPT confirmed the timeline for the judgment, expressing disappointment with a publication that put the judgment date on the 16th of the new month.
His emotions tallies with an earlier one by the Secretary of the PEPT panel, Barrister Josephine J. Ekperobe, who told a media house that 16th September had not been fixed for judgment.
Meanwhile, the NLC’s decision to embark on its strike was taken at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which held in the early hours of Friday.
A communique released by the labour centre and jointly signed by its national president, Joe Ajaero and Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, said it decided to take the decision following the failure of the Tinubu government to enter into dialogue and engage stakeholders within the organised labour on efforts to cushion the effects of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol on the “poor masses”.
The union accused the Nigeria Police of laying siege to the national headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, alleged exploitation of the rights of workers in Imo State, interference in trade union matters by the Abia State Government, proposed demolition by the new Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, among others.
Among the resolutions it took are, “To embark on a total and indefinite shutdown of the nation within 14 working days or 21 days from today until steps are taken by the government to address the excruciating mass suffering and impoverishment being experienced around the country.
“To commence a two-day nationwide warning strike on Tuesday & Wednesday the 5th & 6th of September, 2023 to demonstrate our readiness for the indefinite strike later in the month and to also demand that the state vacates the illegally occupied National Headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers;
“To embark on a mass protest and rally in Imo State within this month of September 2023 in preparation for a major shutdown of the state to compel the state government to stop the abuse and violation of the rights and privileges of workers and trade unions in the state;
“To begin the shutdown of the operations of Airpeace Airline and other companies in the aviation sector that are involved in serial violation of the rights of workers in the sector to freedom of association and to collectively bargain and organise;
“To call on communities around the nation to stop taking the law into their own hands but report to the authorities for amicable resolution any matter involving members of the Amalgamated Union of Food Stuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria which is one of our affiliates;
“To demand that the new Minister of the Federal Capital Territory desists from threatening poor masses in the FCT with demolition of their properties built from their years of toil but should focus more on making houses available to the people. He is not a Minister of Demolition and should be prepared to meet Nigerian workers and citizens on the street if he carries out his insensitive utterances.”
Last month, NLC president Joe Ajaero argued that the N5 billion approved for each state and the FCT to cushion the impact of fuel subsidy removal was inadequate to impact on the people.
On Channels Television’s Politics Today August 18, Ajaero said if calculated, the N5 billion would not amount to N1,500 per person.
According to him, it is unclear whether the money is a loan or a palliative to the states or to Nigerians.
“The first increase in the pump price of petroleum products and the last one moved a lot of people from the borderline to a very high level of poverty,” he said.
“Now, if you calculate it, you will discover that this will not translate to N1,500 per person and you ask: is that the impact? Is that really what we want to achieve? Let’s assume it’s a loan. What is really going to happen? Is it garbage in, garbage out?
“If it is N5 billion, I think organised labour would want anybody to do the calculation and tell us how it is going to impact Nigerians on what is happening currently. If it is a loan, then it is too bad.”